SDM Counselors' Corner

Welcome to SDM Counselor's Page!

I look forward to meeting and working with you in our journey of developing successful students.


Joannie Scott

912-537-4755 ext. 4017

How Can a School Counselor Help a Student?

Academic Development

School counselors play a critical role in ensuring students have the academic development knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to be successful. School counselors can assist schools in providing an environment conducive to and supportive of academic success for all students. 

College and Career Development

School counselors recognize that each student possesses unique interests, abilities, and goals, which will lead to future opportunities. By collaborating with students, families, educational staff, and the community, the school counselor works to ensure all students select a postsecondary path to productive citizenry appropriate for the student.

At the elementary level, the school counselor introduces careers and the world of work; help student understand the connection between school and the work world; provide and advocate for college and career awareness through exploration and postsecondary planning and decision making; and much more.

Social and Emotional Development

School counselors are committed to supporting students’ social/emotional needs, and promote a positive environment that enhances students’ ability to properly manage the social/emotional demands of their lives. School counselors use appropriate appraisal methods to promote a school environment designed to propel students toward positive mindsets and behaviors supporting social/emotional development through direct (e.g., classroom curriculum, group counseling and individual counseling) and indirect (e.g., collaborating or consulting with staff, families or communities) services. 

Responsive Services

School counselors meet the immediate needs and concerns of students, support in crisis situations, and consult and collaborate with staff, families, and specialists.

How Are Services Delivered?

Classroom Counseling Lessons

We will visit each classroom multiple times throughout the school year and have the chance to interact with every student during these lessons. The lessons are typically 20-minutes long and cover different topics, such as goal setting, understanding feelings of self and others, problem solving skills, friendship skills, and study skills. 

All students will receive classroom counseling lessons.

Small Group Counseling

A variety of small groups are offered to students who may benefit from spending extra time developing academic, social, or emotional skills along with their peers who are coping with similar life situations. Generally, a group is about 3 to 7 students. The sessions are during school hours and usually meet once a week. Some group topics include self-confidence, friendship, and grief.

Students can be referred to small group counseling by teachers, administrators, and parents/guardians. Consent from the parent/guardian is necessary prior to a student participating in group counseling.

Individual Counseling

Some students can benefit from one-on-one counseling regarding academic, social, or emotional challenges. 

Students can be referred by teachers, administrators, and parents/guardians.

Contacting the School Counselor

Parents and guardians are welcome to meet with the school counselor and are encouraged to make an appointment in advance to ensure the counselor will be available. An appointment can be made by calling or emailing the school counselor.

General Resources


  • Georgia Crisis & Access Line (24/7 helpline for problems with mental health, drugs, and/or alcohol)   Call: 1-800-715-4225
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline     Call: 988
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline     Call: 1-800-799-7233      Text: "LOVEIS" to 22522

Local Resources

  • The Refuge Domestic Violence Shelter / The Refuge Sexual Assault Center

Domestic Violence Shelter  912-538-9935

Sexual Assault Center   912-216-3898

  • Toombs County Family Connection

100 Vidalia Sweet Onion Drive, Vidalia, GA 30474


  • God's Store House Food-Clothing 

    300 McIntosh Street A, Vidalia, GA 30474


  • His Works Ministry Outreach & Food Bank 

 120 East Liberty Avenue, Lyons, GA 912-388-8043

  • Bread of Heaven Outreach (Food Bank) 

  • Southeast Georgia Community Project (Food Bank and Clothes)

300 S. State Street, Lyons, GA


  • Pineland Mental Health (Mental Health, Addiction, Developmental Disabilities) 

901 North Street West, Vidalia, GA 30474


  • Malinda Graham and Associates, Inc. (Counseling)

 304 Arlington Drive, Vidalia, GA 30474 912-537-1414

  • Leigh-Anne White and Company (Counseling)

 106 East 2nd Street, Vidalia, GA 30474 912-585-5504

Helpful Websites for Families

  • Free online courses, lessons, and practice for students (Academics)

Khan Academy 

  • Internet Safety

GCF Global: Teaching kids about Internet safety

Keeping Children and Young People Safe Online 

Netsmartz Internet Safety 

  • Child Growth and Development and Positive Parenting Tips


CDC: Positive Parenting Tips

Today: Parenting Guides

  • Social and Emotional Development

What Parents Need to Know About Social-Emotional Development  

How Can We Help Kids With Self-Regulation? 

Teaching Kids Self-Regulation

Raising Children to Have a Positive Attitude 

10 Tips to Prevent Gadget Addiction in Kids 

  •  Self-Care for Families

Mental Health First Aid: Tips to Practice Self-care as a Family  

Parents Together: 30-Day Family Self-Care Challenge 

  • Mental Health Resource for Parents and Caregivers  

  • Study Skills for Students

Study Skills for Elementary Students: 31 Powerful Techniques 

7 ways to help your grade-schooler develop good study habits  

  • Georgia Milestones Resources

GADOE Georgia Milestones Resources for Parents and Students


RTIs, 504s, & IEPs

Response to Interventions (RTI)

  • Gives additional support (interventions) to students who are struggling in different areas. (i.e., reading, math, speech, and behavior)
  • Teachers identify students who have problems, and use different teaching techniques while keeping them in the classroom
  • Progress is closely monitored and reviewed to make decisions about next steps towards success
  • If progress is less than expected based on the established goals, the interventions will intensify. Student may move to Tier II or Tier III or referred to special education based on their needs.

Tier I: Universal Interventions

Quality, research- based core instruction available to all students in a classroom or school.

Tier II: Targeted Small Group Instruction

 Student receives additional support in areas where they are struggling.

Tier III: Intensive Intervention

Students who are "non-responders" to Tiers 1 & 2. Receive individualized interventions and more frequent progress monitoring.

504 Plans

  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act is a federal law that was passed in 1973 to prohibit discrimination based on ability
  • Ensures that children with learning disabilities can participate in school without discrimination
  • Intended to support student needs and level the playing field
  • 504 plan contains a list of accommodations that a general education teacher must provide, or allow a student with a disability to use in the classroom
  • 504 accommodations remove obstacles that keep children from learning

Who Is Eligible?

  • A student with a physical or mental disability AND the disability limits a major life activity.
  • Major life activities can include “seeing, hearing, learning, reading, writing, performing math calculations, and performing manual tasks”.


Individualized Education Plan (IEP)

  • Covered by special education law, or the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
  • Written legal document/plan
  • Blueprint for the program of special education instruction, supports, and services that students need to make progress and thrive in school
  • The process consists of the student being evaluated for their strengths and challenges. With the results, families and schools create a program of services and supports tailored to meet the student’s needs

Who Is Eligible?

A student who has one or more of the 13 disabilities listed in IDEA AND the disability affects the student's educational performance.


Counselor Newsletter

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Classroom Guidance Lessons

The school counselor meets with all students in the classroom to discuss academic skills, college and career readiness, and social/emotional skills. Below is an overview of lessons that we provided to the students.

1st Nine Weeks


2nd Nine Weeks


3rd Nine Weeks


    4th Nine Weeks